Tuesday, September 03, 2013

drafting positions for fantasy football

Over on CBS Sports (watched on Roku), I notice the fantasy football drafts are top heavy in running backs.

That's largely due to how they have the starters setup: QB, RB, RB, WR, WR, TE, Flex (which could be a RB, WR, TE), DEF, K.

To me that's totally unrealistic (not that fantasy football is realistic...).  Most people would use the Flex for a RB which would mean they would have three RBs in the starting lineup.  When's the last time you saw an NFL team with three RBs in the starting lineup?  This ain't the Oklahoma wishbone folks.

The most common setup I see in the NFL would have QB, RB, WR, WR, TE, Flex where flex is either a WR or a blocking back.  But the blocking back rarely touches the ball, so the most common lineup would be QB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE.

In my league, I used to have QB, RB, WR, WR, flex (RB or WR), TE.  Which still skewed it in favor of the RB.  The last season I went to QB, RB, WR, WR, WR, TE, flex (RB or WR).  Which kind of evened it out more since most teams would have 2 RB and 3 WR.  (This season I changed one of the WR spots to a second flex which could be WR or TE.)

Anyway, with so many running backs in "standard" leagues, drafts go nuts in running backs.  One guy had like 8 running backs on his roster.  Which I find kind of dumb, not because it's a dumb strategy for their league, but it's so unrealistic.  When's the last time an NFL team had so many RBs on their roster?

[Yeah I know fantasy football is not real, but...]  Defense also has totally unrealistic importance for fantasy football.  Even more so than RB.

Anyway, with my scoring system and position setup, I wonder which are actually the most important and least important positions.

My thinking would be to look at the fantasy points scored last season and compare the top starter to the bottom starter at each position.  And the position with the most difference between the top and bottom would be the starter.  We have a ten team league, so let's compare the top QB with the 10th rated QB.  For RBs, it would be the top RB and the 20th rated RB.  For WR, it would be the 30th rated WR.  For TE, K, DEF: 10.

QB:  Drew Brees (343), Andrew Luck (219), difference 124
RB: Adrian Peterson (295), Benjarvus Green-Ellis (138), difference 157
WR: Calvin Johnson (211), Brandon Lloyd (114), difference 97
TE: Jimmy Graham (144), Brandon Myers (97), difference 47
DEF: Seattle (316), San Diego (217), difference 99
K: Stephen Gostkowski (153), Dan Bailey 124, difference 29

So indeed in my league, RB is still the most "important" position, followed by QB, DEF, WR, TE, K.  (I weigh the defense in my league more heavily than in standard scoring leagues, so it's actually one of the more important "positions" in my league.)

How about the best player in the league?  Here I compare the top player in the league with the second best player in the league.  This would show how much better the top player is compared to the next best.

QB: Tom Brady 330, difference 13
RB: Doug Martin 247, difference 48
WR: Brandon Marshall 210, difference 1
TE: Rob Gronkowski 138, difference 6
DEF: Chicago 291, difference 25
K: Lawrence Tynes 145, difference 8

So again RB was at the top, followed by DEF, QB, K, TE, WR

Then again, what do I know?  I finished 8th in the league last season. And that's my own league with my own rules! 8)



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